How To Spot Hail Damage On An Asphalt Shingle Roof

Construction & Contractors Blog

A major hailstorm is enough to make any homeowner nervous about the state of their roof. That is why you may be relieved when you first check out your asphalt shingle roof after the hail stones begin to melt. Unfortunately, the damage may not be immediately visible if you aren't sure what to look for. The following guide can help you better assess whether it's time for a professional inspection or possible a repair.

Check the trim and flashing

Damage to the trim and flashing is usually easier to spot than shingle damage. The metal flashing is the strips that are placed around chimneys or vent pipes on the roof. They can suffer small or large dents during a hailstorm, which makes them look dimpled or wavy instead of smooth. Metal and vinyl trim can also suffer damage, especially on the side of the house where the hail blew in from. Generally, if you notice dents, dimples, waviness, or actual holes in the trim or flashing, you can be reasonably assured that there is also damage to the roof.

Let the sun get low in the sky

Wait to inspect the roof until a time when the sun is low in the sky, such as sunrise or sunset. This increases shadowing on the roof, making it the optimum time for checking that the shingles are still lying flat. In many cases, the force of the hail strikes cause shingles to bow or lift up slightly. This may not be readily apparent from the ground unless it is a time of day when the slight uplift is causing shadows to appear. If you notice this uplift or bowing, call in a professional for a repair.

Look in your gutters

The asphalt on the shingles is a necessary element for making them strong and weatherproof. Hail tends to compress the shingles and knock off the gravel, making them less effective. The quickest way to notice this damage is to look for large amounts of gravel in the gutters around the eaves of the roof. If you don't have gutters, then check the ground along the drip line from the eaves for gravel buildup. Anything more than a small handful of gravel is cause for concern.

Verify that there are no dark or shiny spots

Another sign that the shingles have been breached by hail stones is discoloration. This often shows up as a random pattern of dark or shiny spots on the roof shingles. These spots are caused by areas that were compressed and lost their gravel covering. If for some reason you can't check for gravel on the ground, perhaps because you have gravel mulch bordering your home, then checking for these spots is the next best alternative.

For more information, contact Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters or a similar company.

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